Racism Myth: American Capitalism No Barrier to Minorities
One of the dominant narratives of Democrat Party politics that was ironically resurrected after the election of the country’s first black president Barack Obama is that racism is alive and well in the U.S. and is keeping minorities down.
Let’s disabuse Americans of that myth.
Statistics taken from the U.S. Census Bureau as recently as 2010 show not only a household income average of $67,530 for all demographics under $250,000, but whites are only slightly above average at $70,572. That doesn’t show a lot of favoritism.
Blacks were far below the average of all demographics at $44,780. But does this tell us that African-Americans are being racially suppressed by the system, or that something has gone culturally astray in the black community?
Hispanics, of all races, tend to average a moderately high income of $51,540 a year by household. One would expect there to be more systemic racism towards new ethnic outsiders than towards minorities who have predominated in the country longer. The success of Hispanics shows this not to be the case.
Lastly, we have Asians, a group that defies the left’s systemic racism narrative. Let’s preface the statistic to point out that there was a time in American history, more recent than even the onset of Reconstruction, when the Chinese were openly discriminated against; in particular with the Chinese Exclusion Acts. The Japanese were detained by the “progressive” president FDR during World War II. Asians have comprised one of the most recent waves of immigrants, and they have now, as a group, become one of the most successful. The average household income for Asians in this survey was $84,828 a year.
Unless the argument can be made that somehow psychologically the majority of Americans are bigoted against those with dark skin but not noticeable Asian characteristics, the claim that the capitalist system is rigged against blacks needs to be put to rest. It would do the black community a great service to stop scapegoating others for certain individuals’ shortcomings, and for people to lift themselves up and others. Getting trapped into government dependency is not going to help anyone, or the country, either.
One last poignant example of how the market is not biased against blacks comes in the form of professional sports. Recently, NBC sportscaster Bryant Gumbel accused the NBA commissioner David Stern for acting like a “plantation overseer” during the lockout talks. Ironically, 80% of the NBA is made up of black players, and the average overall salary is around $5 million a season. There are also a high number of blacks and women in the league offices, at 36% and 44%, respectively. What this shows is that skin color doesn’t matter, but relevant talent does.
This is not to imply that blacks should become athletes, or actors, or only go for those rare one-in-a-million type jobs. But one can become a rocket scientist and CEO like Herman Cain, a law lecturer and president like Barack Obama, or someone as crucial as a teacher, a policeman, a fireman, or a doctor. It all boils down to desire and determination.
This is not to say that racism did not exist in America and still does not exist at all. But capitalism as an economic system is not the problem. Ignorance,demoralizing misinformation, and crippling pessimism is the problem. If we don’t try to tear each other down, and instead work to build each other up, we can each accomplish great things, as measured by our own individual talents and realistic goals.